Written By Jac Coyne - Lacrosse Magazine Online
It's a field that any lacrosse team at any level would be ecstatic to have. What might be the best thing about Saint Leo's new facility?
Located atop a brand new parking garage near the school's gymnasium, the new home of the Lions' men's and women's lacrosse teams has all of the bells and whistles to catch the eye of a prospective Division II student-athlete.
"The facility really is amazing," said Saint Leo head coach Brad Jorgensen. "It is an unmistakable symbol of the support we get from our administration. The university included state of the art scoreboards, sound system, and a locker room with film capabilities. It really has invigorated the players and our staff, and has been a huge help in recruiting.
"We certainly love the additional parking, as well!"
Saint Leo, located about 35 miles north of Tampa, will dedicate the field prior to tonight's men's scrimmage against the Central Florida (MCLA-I). The entire facility, which includes two stories of parking, cost the school $14.4 million, according to Brian Brennan, the school's assistant director of undergraduate admissions.
The sparkling new field is also emblematic of what the Saint Leo men's program wants to accomplish in 2013.
"We have big expectations for this group," Jorgensen said. "We return just about every key player from last season, including our top three attackmen who racked up 122 points between them – sophomore Chris Ciazza, junior Matthew Obermeyer and senior George Proechel. On top of that, we have added 24 new players, including four that were named US Lacrosse High School All Americans last spring.
"It's still only a few weeks in to our fall season, but the improvement has been very noticeable on both sides of the ball. We look forward to our scrimmage to gauge where we are, and how the new rules will play out."
Last year, the Lions finished with a 7-7 record and lost in overtime in the quarterfinals of the Deep South Conference tournament. Just like league rival Tampa, Saint Leo is hoping to play deep into May.
"We have, and always have had, the goal of representing the South in the NCAA tournament," Jorgensen said. "This year we have a schedule that will allow us to fight for one of the four southern bids, with games against the best teams in our region and a trip to Long Island to play NYIT. That schedule also has us playing eight of our 12 games at home on in the new facility."
And all the parking spaces you could hope for.